Theories of Child Language

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 30-03-14 17:29

Theories of child language 

Skinners imitation theory

- Children learn language by copying/mimicking adults and parents

- Reward and punishment/correction

- Fis phenomenon (Roger Brown), shows that the child is trying really hard to mimic the parent, the only reason they cannot is because they are physically unable. Children copy the sounds of English. 

- The Wug experiment contradict this theory as a child can use the plural "wugs" on a word they have never heard before; shows they are not copying an adult in this case.

- Overgeneralisations/virtuous errors also contradict this as if a child was to just copy then they would never make these errors.

- Overextensions again contradict this as adults would never do this. For exmaple use of the


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